Thursday, June 28, 2007

just click

Have you ever just clicked with someone? I mean you really connected at a heart level with them. You wanted the same things. You thought similar thoughts. You anticipated each others moves and worked in harmony with them. It is a rare thing but it is exactly what Jesus and His Father had. And it is His goal for the church.

"The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they'll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me. Then they'll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you've sent me and loved them in the same way you've loved me." John 17:21-23 (MSG)

The last great prayer that Jesus’ followers heard Him pray was this one. His great desire for us was and is to know the joy and power of unity-to be one in heart and mind. Unity is a beautiful to see when it emerges. When people lay aside individualism as a primary concern and seek to unify around a cause amazing things happen. For those of us who profess Christ as Lord, we have our cause, or I should say, our Person. We centralize around Jesus and His teachings. Those who truly know Him are swept up into His love for the hurting and the lost. They live to know Christ. And so that others might know Christ.

Last weekend we observed, “Holy Communion”. As I looked over the congregation, my desire was that we would make the kingdom of God our primary concern. That we would awaken to know and follow Jesus “together”. That we would become “one in heart and mind”. My prayer is that we would reach out to the hurting and the lost of this would and touch them with the love of God.

This is my prayer:

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.” Phil. 2:1-2

Hopefully, with God’s help, and for Christ’s sake, we can find a way to click.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

was eve a 36c?

The crown of it all, the last stroke of God's brush on the canvas of creation if you will, was woman. God looked around at all He had done and said, "Good, good, and very good!" Then he looked at Adam's aloneness and said, "Not good." So He had one more "good" thing. Perhaps His most amazing work of art yet-woman. And reading the Genesis account Adam seems very pleased when introduced to her.

I've been thinking-was Eve a 36C? I mean, was she a "brick house"? Did she look like Jessica Biel, Paris Hilton, or I have heard some men's personal favorite, Halle Berry. Assuming that God's first woman was beautiful, what would have been the definition? Would it have been the color of her skin, the curves in her shape, or maybe her long flowing blonde hair? (By the way, where did I get that hair idea?)

I am not going to sit here today and write that there is no way to appreciate physical beauty in a woman. There is, BUT if God's definition of beauty were like most, then many woman would be shut out and categorized as unattractive or even ugly. Indeed most women are shut out by what we have allowed today (even in our churches) to be accepted as cultural norms in how we percieve females to be beautiful. What if, in God's wisdom, He created Eve 4 ft. 5 inches and she weighed a healthy 175 pounds? Her hair of course was purple for that is the color of majesty and royalty. Her skin being bleach white and pure as the driven snow. What would you think of that image?

Image is our key word here isn't it? God created them "in His Image". What does God's image look like then? Specifically what does the feminine aspect of God's image look like? Let me just say that whatever it looks like, it is beautiful. Very beautiful! And EVERY woman can reflect that same beauty.

"What matters is not your outer appearance-the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes- 4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 5 The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way" 1 Peter 3:3-5

Of course most women will never accept this to the point that they have peace when it comes to their own physical appearance. My questions are, "What is the role of the church or Christian men? What are we saying to all our beautiful women? How are we a part of the solution for them? How do we teach in such a way that there can be a collective renewing of all our minds?" Just thinking.

beauty in ugly

_ug·ly (ug'le) adj., -li·er, -li·est.
1. Displeasing to the eye; unsightly.

Recently my son and I went to someone's house and met several people whom we have never met before. After being there for a few moments, a young woman looked at Sam and said, "Your son has a pretty face". I looked at her and did not know whether to thank her or slap her. My son is not PRETTY!

Men & women are obsessed with looking good-and looking good to each other. No one wants to be ugly. It is interesting to type in the word ugly and search the internet. Ugly people web-sites, ugly people forums, ugliness defined, ugliness demonstrated, etc. Even more interesting was listening to men this past week talk about what they found attractive in a woman and what they did not. I don't think I would want to be present when a group of women discussed ugliness in men-could be painful.

My question today is what does God see when He looks at you and me? Or does God even look "at" people. Does He see ugly and pretty or anything like that? The answer is yes, He most certainly does. We can learn how God views men and women and what he sees by looking at Jesus. What and how He saw people is profound. He definitely saw ugly and He often saw beauty and he called it how He saw it. Come this weekend as we continue the series "Men & Women".
We will discover the beauty in ugly.